How 3D-Printing Can Make Housing More Affordable

Habitat for Humanity is working with 3D-printers to reduce the costs of construction and provide more housing for families in need.

1 minute read

January 5, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Habitat for Humanity is enlisting the help of 3D-printing companies to fight the growing housing crisis and build more homes faster and more affordably. As Claretta Bellamy reports, high costs and material shortages have led developers, including Habitat for Humanity, to look for innovative solutions for producing low-cost housing to meet growing demand.

According to the article, a 3D-printed home built from concrete can save up to 15 percent on construction costs while still providing a "safe, affordable place to live" and the opportunity to own a home for low-income families.

"Using 3D printing to build homes provides numerous benefits, including a decrease in construction time due to the machine’s efficiency," Bellamy writes. According to Kirk Andersen of 3D-printing company SQ4D, the minimal need for on-site supervision also prevents injuries and saves builders money. And while traditional homebuilding takes six to 12 months, a 3D-printed home takes under six months to erect. 

Housing advocates like Jeff Olivet, co-founder of Racial Equity Partners, say that in addition to programs like Habitat for Humanity, fighting decades of exclusionary housing policies and fixing the deeply entrenched affordability crisis will require "a national collective effort that also involves fixing housing policies and expanding services."

Tuesday, January 4, 2022 in NBC News

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.